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What to Look for When Buying a Guitar for Blues?

What to Look for When Buying a Guitar for Blues?

Do you love listening to the Blues? American Blues music has become one of the most popular music styles in the world, and if you have decided to learn the Blues, then owning your own guitar will be the coolest idea. Whether it’s an acoustic guitar or an electric one, there are several things to check before spending on guitar. If you are wondering what to look for while buying a guitar for Blues, here are a few tips for you.

Decide the Style

It sounds good if you have already decided to spend on a guitar, but don’t just go after the looks. As an amateur, the coolest designs will draw your attention for sure, but if it’s your first guitar, you should pay more attention to the sound rather than the looks. You can choose a favorite style, but you should prioritize the sound and comfort over it, as that will help you find the right guitar for playing Blues.

Acoustic or Electric

A lot of people get confused to decide whether they should buy an acoustic guitar or an electric guitar. If you are a Zed Zeppelin fan or Jimi Hendrix fan, we know your first priority will be buying an electric guitar, but if you have no idea, it will be good to invest on acoustic guitars.

The acoustic sound has a different charm that you cannot get in amplified sound of Blues. Besides that, you will need to stretch your budget too if you want to buy an electric guitar. You must spend on amplifier, processor and distortion pedals too to enjoy distorted sounds that characterize the Blues music. SideLine has a great guide on which are the best acoustic guitars to start your career with, so make sure you check that out.

Brand New or Used 

Some people, including some renowned music teachers, suggest buying used guitars rather than spending on brand new guitars. The fretboard tends to be smoother in a used guitar, and if you can find a second hand guitar that is in good condition, it will be beneficial monetarily too. In case you are about to purchase a used guitar, check properly whether the guitar neck is straight or distorted. Don’t hesitate to play it first to check the sound, and then buy it if you are satisfied.

Consider Your Budget  

Your budget is another crucial factor to look upon when buying a guitar. Nowadays, music instruments are available online and one can get lucrative discounts from time to time. The quality sometimes depends on the price, and hence buyers need to be careful about it. The price can range from $100 to$1000. You must choose a model that sounds good, suits the Blues style and looks good at the same time.

Pay Attention to the Tone

If you are purchasing the guitar for Blues for the first time, you must pay attention to the sound. In case you are buying an electric guitar, make sure to tune it and plug in for playing. Continue playing and you will understand whether you should get it or look for other models. Never pay attention to the brands as manufacturing defects are very common, and you should never rely on a brand name blindly.

By following these simple tips, you can find the right guitar easily to play the Blues. Apart from the above mentioned factors, buyers must consider associated costs of the strap, extra picks, strings, amplifier, hard case, carrying bag, and guitar stand too if buying the complete set.

The Most Popular Blues Artists of All Time

The Most Popular Blues Artists of All Time

Blues is not just a popular genre of music, but it’s a feeling that has roots in the 1900s. It emerged as a popular style of music in the 1950s. Blues music has spread across America and played a significant role in the birth of rock n roll, jazz and a few other hybrid genres.

If you search about famous Blues artists, the list will be huge. If you are looking for the most popular Blues artists of all time, here are 6 Blues legends known for creating history with their extraordinary music for generations to come.

Robert Johnson 

Robert Johnson was an American singer, songwriter and musician popularly known as the granddaddy of Blues music. Robert Johnson’s musical skills and style of singing and performing have influenced many, and made him a legend of Delta-style Blues. The Rolling Stone magazine ranked him 5th on the list of the greatest guitarists of all time and his legacy is still being carried by his followers.

Muddy Waters

Muddy Waters ranks 2nd in our list of legendary Blues artists of all time. He was an American Blues singer-songwriter and musician known as the “Father of Modern Chicago Blues”. Muddy was an important musician in the post-war Blues scenario. He embraced amplified electric guitar and added percussion for Blues music. His songs like ‘Mannish boy’ or ‘Champaign and reefer’ have been covered by many. He was a pioneer in Blues-rock, the style that has been carried forward by many notable musicians like Jimi Hendrix and Keith Richards.

Lightning Hopkins

Lightning Hopkins ranks 3rd in our list of legendary Blues artists. Hopkins had a passion for music since his childhood, and it triggered when he met Blind Lemon Jefferson at a church picnic in Texas. Young Hopkins started playing with the legendary artist and it was the turning point of his musical career. Albums like The Roots of Lightnin’ Hopkins, Free Form Patterns, and Lightnin’ Hopkins Strums the Blues are jewels of that period.

Sonny Boy Williamson II

Sonny Boy Williamson II was an early influential Blues harp stylist, singer, songwriter and harmonica player who inspired millions of listeners with his unique harmonica playing. His name comes among the best Chicago Blues artists, and his songs like ‘nine below zero’, ‘bring it on home’, ‘Don’t start me talking’ and others became very popular in the genre.

Buddy Guy

Chicago Blues became a popular style of Blues across America in the 1950s, and Buddy Guy became a pioneer to introduce Chicago Blues across the region. Whenever you think of the living Blues legends, Buddy Guy will be the first man in the queue. His music style has inspired many musicians, including Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Page, Stevie Ray Vaughan and many more.

B.B. King 

Popularly known as ‘The King of Blues’, B.B. King is one of the greatest American Blues artists of all time. He was a singer-songwriter, guitarist and producer who introduced a sophisticated style of soloing based on shimmering vibrato and string bending. Riley B. King was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in the year 1987 for being a legend of electric Blues, RNB, Blues rocks and soul music.

Grab a few CDs of these most popular Blues artists and enjoy some good time.

What Kind Of Music Is Blues

What Kind Of Music Is Blues

Music is a universal language, and when it comes to the global music scene, there is hardly any genre like Blues that has succeeded in touching the lives of people. Unlike other music styles, the roots of Blues lie more than a hundred years back and the journey can be traced from Deep South to West Africa.

Over time, Blues has been influenced by so many factors and the style has evolved significantly over time. When you ask what kind of music is Blues, we will have to go back in time and find out what influenced this music genre, what its unique features area, and what its present state is. So, let’s have a look.

Features of Blues

Blues is a genre of music that originally consisted of spiritual songs, field hollers, chants, shouts, work songs, and narrative ballads with simple rhymes. It is often characterized by a call and response pattern with progressive chords scale. The third, fifth and seventh notes often have a flat pitch with repetitive grooves. The musical form of Blues is identified by its bass lines, instrumentation and lyrics. It is often characterized by its verses that consist of one line repeated 4 times in AAB pattern. The line is used over the first bars four times, then repeated over other four, and finally a long concluding line in the last bar. Apart from that, 8 bar and 16 bar patterns are also considered Blues. The call and response pattern used in Blues is a common characteristic of African-American and African music. The last chord is often the dominant one that marks the beginning of the upcoming progression.

 Origins and Influences of Blues

It was the American- African community and the black cultural melting pot of American South from where the music originated around the 1890s. The early Blues music used to be a mixture of traditional songs, Afro-American spirituals, music of church, songs of the slaves, folk ballads, shouts and chants, rhyming narrative ballads, modern dance music and European hymns that made it unique.

The slavery tradition used to be common during that time, and the music soon became an instrument of power for the black slaves during the back-breaking toils in the plantation fields or other places. The people had developed a call and response way of singing, and overtime the Blues emerged as one of the most appreciated styles all over the world.

Some people have claimed that Blues music indicates melancholy, grief and loss, however, it’s not completely true and there are adequate reasons to back the statement. The beginning of the music genre was happy, and perhaps the name is derived from blue indigo that used to be a common tradition at that time in West Africa.

While some lyrics focus on personal grief, frustration, love and loss, there are plenty of songs that deal with joy, celebration, life and triumph. Music was an integral part of people and they used to play the guitars after returning from work and used to get drunk and sing about their lives. The region of Mississippi Delta had played a major role in the emergence of Blues, and one can see that plenty of Blues legends were born in Mississippi. The black slaves were not free to live their lives freely, and they had limited options other than working for the masters in the fields. The early Blues lyrics written by Afro-Americans mostly dealt with soulful and melancholy lyrics to form the rhythmic, emotive and powerful music that reflected their lives, poverty, crimes, labor, addiction, victory, love or loss in a distinct style.

 Blues in its Modern Form

The early years of Blues music have produced some of the most talented Blues musicians of all time, like Blind Lemon Jefferson, Blind Willie Johnson, Robert Johnson, Lightning Hopkins, Blind Blake, Muddy waters, Pink Anderson, Sonny Boy Williamson II, Arthur William “big boy” Crudup and many more.  However, it took a few decades to spread the Blues across the urban areas. Over time, the music genre adapted different styles like Dallas Blues, Chicago Blues, Texas Blues, West Coast Blues, traditional country Blues, jump Blues, Rhythm and Blues and other jazz-Blues hybrids. The electrification of Blues helped it to spread across the country, and the era of modern Blueshave produced some of the most famous Blues artists of all times like Buddy Guy, B.B. King, Jimi Hendrix, Keith Richards, Eric Clapton, Joe Bonamassa and many more.

The Blues that we hear today, can be described as modern Blues, and the style is still popular among different cultures in the era of techno or modern electronic music.